If Everyone's a Host, Who's Listening?

(As you read, realize that these words were written on February 3, 2005.)

It's sure getting a lot of press lately, though I'm not sure why. Podcasting is the latest buzzword the online crowd is chasing, partly because it's new; partly because journalists are tired of writing about blogs.

Notice what's not being mentioned each time you read about podcasts. There is little attraction for listening to a poorly-produced program of someone rambling off their thoughts of the moment. Beware the warnings.
An Introduction

My technology background is here. [Prior to retiring] I wrote, produced and did voice over on 10,000+ radio & television commericals, including all that's on this audio spec (of which I wrote 95%). As Executive Producer of the Cleveland Indians Radio Network I wrote, produced, and voiced dozens of long-form programs.

Now, don't misread this. There is a place for some programs to be downloaded to an MP3 player and listened to tomorrow. (If you find one outside of the BBC or NPR let me know.)

Radio cut its teeth on the immediacy of a one-on-one relationship with a program's host, and the ability to break news or information before other media.

All that hosts of podcasts are satisfying, as it's done today, is a desire to speak their mind with no programming clocks - which means no formal stucture. Which means whether anyone is listening is an afterthought that, when addressed, will cause this "new form of radio" to crumble (or, more appropriately, grow to millions of podcasts that go unheard, just like the millions of blogs that go unread).

The initial rush to assemble one's own program and put it up for sampling is the result of Adam Curry's popularity. He's the former MTV VJ who gained fame before jumping into the online audio world. More importantly, he has an idea of how to put together a program people will listen to.

As for podcasting being a force in the advertising world, don't hold your breath. Like blogs, and the bloggers who claim to be taking over online, podcasts will evolve into a few select programs that make an imprint. Everyone else will be talking to so few people it will be a sea of audio dangling in cyberspace, never finding a set of speakers.

Reason? Assembling a radio program is not just opening a microphone and then opening your mouth. It's a terrifically difficult task to keep interest high. It's even more difficult to interest an advertiser into putting money into a program that doesn't keep listeners interested.

Two groups show excitement about podcasting: 1) the folks who are hosting a program. They would love to have you listen; 2) the group selling services to folks hosting a program.

Next: Being Consistently Creative

Wednesday November 14, 2018      eMail to a Friend

Today's artist introduction is to Country from Craig Donaldson

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